New developments in the origin of life

Introduction

Creationists often assert that science has yet to understand the origin of life, and that this is a fatal flaw in evolutionary theory. In the 2005 Dover case, for example, the Dover Area School Board passed a resolution saying that “The Theory [of evolution] is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for

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Where are the extraterrestrials?

Introduction

While having lunch with colleagues Edward Teller and Herbert York, who were chatting about a recent cartoon in the New Yorker depicting aliens abducting trash cans in flying saucers, physicist Enrico Fermi suddenly blurted out, “Where is everybody?” [Webb2002, pg. 17-18]. His question is now known as Fermi’s paradox.

Behind Fermi’s question was this

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Does public opinion always agree with scientific fact?

New Pew Research Center poll on scientists’ views versus public views

A new poll by the Pew Research Center has highlighted some stark differences between views of leading scientists, in particular members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and those of the general U.S. public. The results are summarized in this

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Are there “missing links” in the fossil record?

Introduction

Both creationist and intelligent design writers assert that there are large gaps in the fossil record. Creationist Henry Morris, for instance, asserts that there are “systematic gaps” in the fossil record, and “There is no evidence that there have ever been transitional forms between these basic kinds.” [Morris2000, pg. 78-79].

In discussing this issue,

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Can biblical chronology be used to date creation?

Introduction

Even among those who believe the Bible to be the word of God, most are willing to accept that the Bible has some imperfections, such as translation errors, copyist errors, omissions and questionable inclusions, and, in any event, the Bible was never intended to be read primarily as a scientific or historical treatise —

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Do religious colleges teach old-earth geology and evolution?

Popular wisdom holds that old-earth geology and evolution remain somewhat controversial in the scientific community, and, in particular, that many scientists question evolution. But on this count popular wisdom is quite mistaken — only a fraction of 1% of qualified scientists believe there are reasonable grounds to question the basic tenets of these theories. See

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Prehuman fossils: an embarrassment of riches

Introduction

One of the issues most frequently raised by both creationist and and intelligent design writers is the question of gaps in the fossil record, and, in particular, of “missing links” between “apes” and humans. In one sense, such a question is improperly posed — science does not propose that a modern “ape” (gorilla, bonobo

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Creationists: modern-day Don Quixotes?

Don Quixote

September 29, 2014 is the 467th birthday of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, whose immortal Don Quixote is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of literature in any language. In fact, in 2002 the Norwegian Book Club named Don Quixote as “best literary work ever written” in their listing of the

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Is intelligent design a legitimate scientific movement?

Background

The “intelligent design” movement was formed in the mid-1990s by a group of scholars whose objective was to present a significantly more tenable alternative to evolution than that promoted by young-earth creationists such as Henry Morris and John Whitcomb. The principal figures of the intelligent design movement, notably Michael Behe, William Dembski, Phillip Johnson

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Is the Bible supported by modern archaeology?

Introduction

Several of the “New Atheist” school of writers dismiss the Bible as without scientific foundation. In part, these writers reflect the thinking of the “minimalist” or “Copenhagen” approach to biblical scholarship that was popular during the 1990s and the 2000s. This school of thought has argued, for example, that essentially all of the Old

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